Garcia battles for first win in 11 months
Lefty overcomes early trouble vs. D-backs in second start of season
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia tried not to let the frustration get to him. With the opportunity to secure a win in his first home start of the year at stake in the sixth inning, he and the first baseman couldn't record an out on a routine grounder to the right side for a second time on the night. In this instance, the ball squirted towards the dugout after an unsuccessful toss from Mark Reynolds to Garcia, and Arizona's Aaron Hill took third base as the potential go-ahead run came to the plate for the D-Backs with one out.
No panic, Garcia honed in on the next hitter, Nick Ahmed, to induce an inning-ending double play with his final pitch in a game that ended with Garcia as a winner for the first time in more than 11 months. The Cardinals defeated Arizona, 6-4, at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night in Garcia's second start of the season.
The verdict from him and manager Mike Matheny was unanimous -- Garcia did what was needed to keep his team in the game.
"That thing was something else, that situation," Garcia said. "I was trying to do my best to not let any emotions get to me and just control the next pitch and not worry about anything else. It probably wasn't my best [overall performance], but I was out there competing and trying to keep us in the ballgame and give us a chance to win."
Garcia scattered eight hits and allowed four runs (three earned), all in the first three innings. He didn't walk a hitter after walking a career-high five in his outing against the Mets last week.
"Overall, I think it was a very positive outing," Matheny said.
Positives were scarce early for Garcia, as the D-backs pounced for two runs on three hits in a 26-pitch first inning, which included Mark Trumbo's infield single that was aided by Garcia's late break to cover first base.
But Garcia settled in after also allowing runs in the second and third innings to throw just 31 pitches over his final three innings.
"Rough start," Matheny said. "I just wasn't sure how long he was going to be able to go. He threw a lot of pitches in those first couple of innings, even through the third. The next three were more like we are accustomed to."